Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22, has become widespread in every corner of the globe. Today, approximately 200 countries celebrate this global initiative. Some of these nations include the United States, Israel, Denmark, and Spain, just to name a few. Each country has a unique way to celebrate Earth Day by bringing awareness of the need to conserve and preserve the Earth’s environment.
Earth Day and environmental awareness are on the rise. It is now believed this day is celebrated by more than a billion people every year. For those who advocate for the cause, they are passionate about promoting awareness around the globe all year long.
What can be done on Earth Day?
Many celebrate the day due to its significance and the fact that it’s a time when the days start to become warmer—when the air has a feel of spring.
Some typical observances include:
- Getting outdoors
- Powering down electrical devices
- Using eco-friendly products
- Planting a tree
Planting a tree is likely the most common of Earth Day activities. People can partner with local parks or eco-aware groups, but one way to leave a legacy and impact a nation is by sponsoring an olive tree in Israel.
Israel is a powerhouse of eco-friendly habits and, since becoming an independent nation in 1948, has revived their desert region. This nation has the tools, technology, and intelligence to make Earth Day exactly what it is intended to be—a day of recognition in protecting and maintaining the Earth’s potential.
Israel and the Environment
When the Jewish people began returning to their land during the second Aliyah in the early 1900’s, the first kibbutz was established. Kibbutz means “gathering” in Hebrew. These settlements in Israel consisted of Jews whose communities were based on agricultural production. This move also revived the once barren land, the Hebrew language, and gave the Jewish economy a boost through agriculture.
- Water Conservation
Israel’s innovative technologies bring an unexpected relationship between arid lands and limited water resource—the result? Drip irrigation that produces lush vegetation. Simcha Blass, a Jewish inventor and chief water engineer of Israel in the 1930s, made the accidental discovery of drip irrigation resulting in a process that provided plants with healthy water flow while conserving water.
Today, an Israeli manufacturing company of irrigation equipment, Natafim, is active in Africa, bringing irrigation to rural areas “where people are dependent on agriculture for both food and income. Even in times of drought, Netafim technology helps farmers grow the crops they need to feed their families and to sell in local markets.”[i]
Through this technology and the partnership between Natafim and Innovation Africa, development of water production in rural African villages was made possible.
In the United States, California is also using Israeli drip irrigation technology on farms. During the drought of 2015, farmers in the United States were looking for innovative ways to conserve water; through drip irrigation, some used 35% less water compared to those with surface or sprinkler irrigation. One farmer reported getting “70% more tomatoes per 1,000 gallons of water,” according to an article published in The New York Times.
- Year-Round Awareness
Every year during Earth Day various Israeli cities, such as Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel Aviv, ask their businesses and residents to turn off power for one hour to promote natural resource awareness. This event has been named “Earth Hour.”
Israel also recognizes organizations through the “Green Globe” award, which is given to those who have been excellent stewards of the environment.
Israel’s innovative afforestation and planting initiatives are frontrunners for environmental impact. The Jewish National Fund, founded in 1901, has planted millions of trees throughout Israel.
Various conservation groups, such as the Jewish National Fund and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, work to inform the public about ecosystems and how to make Israel’s future greener. By planting and afforestation, groups such as these make Israel the frontrunner for environmental impact.
- Solar Energy
The frontier of the Negev Desert can be considered a blank canvas full of untapped potential. There are plans for Israel and United States to combine efforts to build one of the tallest solar towers in the world located in the Negev Desert.
“A collaborative project between BrightSource Energy, General Electric (GE), and NOY Infrastructure & Energy Investment Fund aims to build the world’s fifth largest solar thermal power station (the Megalim) in Israel’s Negev Desert.
“The centerpiece of the project will be the Ashalim tower, the world’s tallest solar tower, which will soar 820 feet into the desert sky. Encircling the main tower will be 50,000 mirrors, called heliostats, to focus the sun’s rays.
“The Israeli Ministry of Finance approved a 4 billion NIS funding agreement in July 2015 to move the Ashalim solar field project forward. The entire Megalim complex is expected to be operational by mid-2018.”[ii]
- Reclaiming the Desert
Israel’s remarkable recovery from a once dry and desolate desert is a visual of Earth Day’s goal. Over the past 70 years, the nation of Israel has become a leader in developing state-of-the-art agricultural technologies and transforming their soil to a rich and fertile landscape.
My Olive Tree is pleased to be a part of this agricultural transformation, planting groves of olive trees and plenty of vineyards to help reclaim the desert from the centuries of neglect the environment has experienced. In our work, we use top-of-the-line technology to ensure all olive trees receive the proper care and nutrition, regardless of their location.
Earth Day is about celebrating sustainability and furthering environmentally-friendly technologies and policies. Israel was built on such principles.
Each passing year, as science progresses, more is understood about our environment. We can better examine how we, as individuals and nations, impact the environment. Momentum from Earth Day has made way for rapid growth in a number of areas within the economy and the future of our planet.
- Ecological Forecasting— For those who are focused on greening up the Earth and want to understand how the environment will respond to changing ecosystems; they can take a look at Israeli’s planting methods. We can see from the nation’s land revival that the soil and the region respond to planting. The lush landscape provides oxygen, moisture to the air, and improves the economy. Who knew this ripple effect could come so quickly to such a newborn nation!
- Sustainable Future— Israel, known for their innovation, can take their knowledge of aquatic and land ecosystems, and better prepare and conserve its natural resources. Their water conservation methods are a prime example of this ingenuity.
Our world, as we know it today, is undeniably facing changes in climate and threats to natural resources. Israel is partnering with countries around the world to protect what the land grows. Do you want to join this multidimensional environmental initiative? Contact us today to hear more about our story!
[ii] http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/solar-energy-sector-in-israel Jewish Virtual Library